The Aviation Repair Station Association has filed an amicus curia brief at the Supreme Court in support of a petition of Avidair Helicopter Supply, Inc. against Rolls Royce Corp. The issue is the failure of the OEM to provide Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA) to allow the petitioner to perform repairs on engines. ARSA’s brief asserts that the Supreme Court compel the FAA to follow the plain meaning of 14 CFR § 21.50(b). ARSA claims that OEMs under the privileges of the Type Certificate (TC)/Production Certificate (PC) approvals must issue ICAs and make them available to repair stations, among others, in order to accomplish the repairs defined in the ICAs.
Grants by the Supreme Court of petitions are very rare. Equally unusual is an order by the nine Justices compelling a federal agency to comply with its own statutes and its own regulations. The ARSA arguments are strong, but given the past history of the US’s highest court, it is unlikely that the mandamus order which Avidair and ARSA are seeking will be issued.
Wouldn’t it be ironic that the first step in standardizing the interpretation of the FARs, usually an initiative aimed to get some consistency between and among the FSDOs, started at the Supreme Court?